Rangers coach David Quinn opted to start Alexandar Georgiev in net Sunday for the second game of the back-to-back weekend set against the Devils after Igor Shesterkin started Saturday.
"Georgie’s like 19-4 with four days’ rest the last two years,’’ Quinn said. "He’s a good goalie. This isn’t like we feel like we have to keep playing Shesty over and over again, although Shesty certainly has elevated his game. But Georgie earned an opportunity to play . . .
We’ve got a lot of faith in Georgie. I trust Georgie.’’
Georgiev stopped the first 10 shots he faced until he went down to stop one from Devils rookie Ty Smith. He couldn’t get up after that and called to the Rangers’ bench for assistance. He left with 2:19 remaining in the first period but returned to start the second and made 25 saves in the Rangers’ 5-3 win.
"Something just locked my knee,’’ Georgiev said. "I felt the pain on the side of the kneecap and I couldn’t really bend the knee or put any pressure on it.
''I assumed I would be OK; we just had to put it back into place . . . That’s a great job by our doc [and trainer Jim Ramsay]. He fixed me pretty quick. I knew I would be good to play the second period.’’
Kravtsov gets goal No. 1
Vitali Kravtsov thought he had scored his first NHL goal Thursday in what ended up being a 4-0 Rangers victory at Madison Square Garden. But the Devils challenged the play, the Rangers were found to be offside and the goal was nullified.
So the goal Kravtsov scored at 14:03 of the first period on Sunday to make it 2-0 was his first official goal.
Asked how it felt to score his first NHL goal, Kravtsov grinned. "The second one?’’ he said. "It’s an unbelievable feeling. I’m gonna tell my kids about it.’’
Quinn made one lineup change, inserting defenseman Anthony Bitetto in place of Libor Hajek . . . Adam Fox, who had an assist, played a team-high 27:34.